Dilemmas of a Social Network Addict

All of a sudden, the twit in me has re-surfaced and I’ve been tweeting away. I’ve decided to lay down the dirt, or in layman’s terms share an opinion or two, about social networks (nice title for a movie).

Let’s see. We have Facebook and Twitter, both frequented by nerds and fashionatos, the latter being the fave of the entertainment industry. On Twitter, you tweet, you have followers and you also follow. On Facebook, you… er… post, and you have friends. Kind of cute, having all of these friends.

On Facebook you can post on and on, no matter what. You can insult someone not just in paragraphs, but in volumes, editions, boxed sets. On Twitter you are limited to 140 words per tweet. And if you want to start a thread, well, you can’t. It has to be tweeted 140 words at a time. By the time you get to the third tweet, you’ve forgotten where you started.

You can’t just tweet away while other twits wait in line. You can start by saying that “… Charlie Sheen is an effing SOB…” and the time it takes you to tweet again, someone will have tweeted and cut into your thread. Your initial tweet starts as… “Charlie Sheen is a miserable SOB… and did you check out Lady Gaga’s pointy boobs…” Meanwhile, on Facebook, you can write Gone With the Wind with footnotes.

On Facebook, threads can end up in an entirely different direction from where they started. I was reading a thread the other day where the starting post was about the lunatic fringes of the current sitcom actor and the end was the effects of monopolymers on plasticized membranes in an arctic climate. Huh?

Meanwhile, other media types and wannabe writers are pointing their cursors to what is commonly referred to as a “blog.” Inspired, I threw caution to the wind, put on protective clothing and plunged into a new role as a blogger. Blog sites are free and you have several choices of style and backgrounds to choose from. You can post pics, keep an archive, and a whole slew of nifty stuff. You can even have companies advertise on your blog and make a few bucks. I gave my blog a nifty name which, in fact, described my mental state when I started blogging a mere three months ago. I gave my blog the catchy title of “How not to commit suicide while looking for a job at 58.” Now that you know the words, you can sing along. Well, at least give it a look see.

When it comes to blogs, devoted followers can even post comments. Alas, my blog hasn’t generated much in the way of comments, let alone responses. If anything, the entire effort has been a form of therapy. I’m not depressed anymore, but now I’m talking to myself. I’m not sure which one is worse.

But I digress. The point is really which of the three do I prefer, given the facts laid before me: Facebook, with its playtime layout, where we all make friends and share our holiday pics and cute video links; Twitter, where we follow and are followed like in a cult (I think I know why Tom Cruise tweets!); or a blog where, you’re damn lucky if anyone comments or understands what your writing, as you slowly go insane. I have to, as my American friends would say, plead the fifth. In my case, a quart would do, as I lay back and continue to play this ménage à trois. Until we tweet again, may you follow your friends to a better place and don’t trip on your blog on the way there.

Luigi Palazzini is a Montreal-based blogger, tweeter and Facebook friend.

First published in Accenti Magazine, Issue 23.

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